Defining a community of practice in rural primary care health professions education, training, and research in practice
Rural PREP’s purpose is to expand an already developing scholarly community of practice in rural health professions education, research, and primary care training and delivery that is evidence-based, community-engaged, and practice-informed. A community of practice is an informal or organized learning community or virtual space in which members:
- Demonstrate mutual engagement
- Participate in a continually renegotiated common endeavor or joint enterprise
- Use a shared repertoire of communal resources (routines, sensibilities, artifacts, vocabulary, styles, etc.) that members have developed over time in arriving at solutions and making a significant impact1, 2
Effective groups develop from a community of interest, moving to a community of influence and eventually to a community of solution and impact, or “shared practice.” Communities of practice support collaborative networks of individuals and organizations working together to improve their own operations and the public’s health.
Specific strategies for growing our community of practice include Rural PREP Grand Rounds, professional development webinars, rural health professions education research Design and Dissemination Studios, microresearch, and support for travel to meetings and conferences to share scholarly work. Our current community of practice includes on-line attendees at our webinars, Rural PREP Grand Rounds site participants, microresearch recipients, research collaborators, partnering organizations and more.
For a directory of programs that represents our potential community of practice in rural medical education, click here.
- Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: learning as a social system. The Systems Thinker, June/July 1998; 9(5):1-5. Retrieved December 29, 2017 from: https://thesystemsthinker.com/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/090501pk.pdf
- Wenger, E. (2012). Communities of practice and social learning systems: the career of a concept. Retrieved December 29, 2017 from: https://wenger-trayner.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/09-10-27-CoPs-and-systems-v2.01.pdf